Essential cancels next phone

Essential, the company that created the first phone with an edge-to-edge screen and a notch, has cancelled the Essential Phone 2 and the company is instead now focused on seeking a buyer for its ailing business, according to a new report by Bloomberg.

The shocking news comes almost exactly one year after the company unveiled its marquee phone, the Essential PH-1, on May 25th, 2017. The phone launched with an ambitious ceramic-titanium design and features the fastest chip available at the time, the Snapdragon 835, but it suffered from a variety of issues, from touch input issues …

The first true all-screen phone is coming on June 12th

The first truly bezel-less phone is about to become a reality, but it won’t come from Apple or Samsung.

Instead, Chinese company Vivo has just announced that its Vivo Apex concept phone, the same impressive device that we first saw in February at the Mobile World Congress, will be officially unveiled on June 12th.
And it’s all about the screen, the screen with no interruptions and, naturally, no notches.
But will it feature all of the wow-inspiring innovation that we saw with the Vivo Apex? Well, we’re not exactly sure. The Vivo …

Razer Phone update adds Portrait Mode, new privacy policy for GDPR compliance

Razer and its gaming smartphone are making headlines once again. The most recent update available for the Razer Phone promises to bring some camera improvements and security changes for GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance.

The most important new feature is the addition of the new Portrait mode, which is supposed to allow Raze Phone users to “take fantastic Portrait shots.” Furthermore, the Privacy Policy has been updated for GDPR compliance, which will be effective beginning May 25.

The 370MB update includes some bug fixes and performance improvements, according to …

Microsoft's AI bot Xiaoice is a celebrity in China and also makes phone calls

Now that it appears as though the Google Duplex demo last week was legitimate (necessary edits were made to protect the businesses involved), it turns out that Microsoft has its own AI bot that makes calls. Today in London, the software giant introduced Xiaoice (pronounced “SHAO-ICE”), which has been undergoing testing in China. In that country, Xiaoice (Chinese for ‘Little Bing’) is a quite popular, uh, personality with 500 million friends that communicate with it through 16 channels on Chinese messaging services including WeChat.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said at …

How to turn your old Android phone into a Google Assistant-powered smart speaker

Smart assistants are all the rage these days, and rightfully so – all of the major players on the market have either released a couple of these or revealed their plans to enter the smart assistant territory with a loud bang. The likes of Apple’s HomePod, Google’s Home, Max, mini, and most importantly, the wide range of Alexa-powered Amazon speakers quickly made the scene pretty congested.

But why bother buying a dedicated smart speaker when you can easily make yourself one, recycling an older Android device in the process?

Yes, we know you’re probably raising your eyebrows …

Generous: trade in your old phone with Verizon, get an iPhone X, Galaxy S9+, Pixel 2 for up to 50% off!

With Memorial Day coming up, it’s a great time for various retailers to boost sales by offering some cool discounts. And Verizon has a generous one for us — trade in your old phone, get up to 50% off for a brand-new flagship! This goes for Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X, LG V30, Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

Of course, the amount you get discounted depends on what kind of phone you will be trading in as well as its general condition. If it works and has no cracks — you should be fine. The discount only counts if you pay for your new device …

Front panel of Xiaomi 8th anniversary phone appears alongside retail packaging

Both the front panel and retail packaging of Xiaomi’s rumored 8th-anniversary smartphone have leaked out. It’s no secret that Xiaomi is holding an event next week where it is expected to announce its next flagship, the Mi 7, and the third-generation of its popular Mi Band. However, due to the company’s 8th anniversary, the brand is reportedly preparing a third product in celebration of the milestone, something two recent leaks appear to confirm.

Beginning with the retail packaging of the smartphone, the details it reveals are relatively few, with the box simply sporting a large number 8 …

Report: The HTC Exodus is a blockchain phone for cryptocurrency traders

Why, it was just a few days ago when we passed along the specs and pricing for Sirin Labs’ blockchain phone called the Finney. It will be launched later this year at a price of $999 (although those paying with Sirin’s own cryptocurrency get a 10% discount). A new report published today revealed that HTC is also building a Android powered blockchain phone called the HTC Exodus. As we pointed out with the story on the Finney, the blockchain is a peer-to-peer network used to store financial transactions. In fact, it was originally developed expressly for Bitcoin.

With blockchain, each transaction …

Google releases Wear OS Phone app featuring Quick Replies option

Google has recently released a brand new Wear OS Phone app aimed at those who own smartwatches that have already been updated to the new version of the wearable platform. With the Wear OS Phone app, users will be able to make calls from their smartwatches, but Google added a couple of other nifty features as well.

For example, Quick Replies allows users of the app to quickly respond to a call via SMS, which comes in handy when there’s no time to take that call. But that’s not all, as the app features Streamlined Outgoing Calls, which is supposed to provide Wear OS Phone users with a streamlined …

OnePlus 6 teaser tells us how many days left until the phone is unveiled

Just in case you forgot how many days remain until the unveiling of the OnePlus 6, OnePlus has disseminated a tweet containing a video that will remind you. The video shows the number 3 in neon, and just before the ten second clip is over, the number flickers and quickly changes to a 6 before switching back to the previous number. On May 16th, OnePlus will unveil (as one phone manufacturer might say) “the best OnePlus yet.” The event is being held in London, and starts at 12 noon EDT time in the U.S.

The OnePlus 6 will feature a 6.3-inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1080 x 2280 for …